Dogmeat is a companion character that appeared in the first two games, and yes, he's a dog. He's also back and better than ever in Fallout 3. We're assuming that this is a different Dogmeat altogether than the original, but since the game deals with a radioactive wasteland brimming with mutants, who knows? Dogmeat is a potential companion for your character, one that will fight by your side and help fetch whatever you need. You find Dogmeat during a random encounter in the wasteland, when he and his owner come under attack from a group of raiders. In this case, we watched as the battle took place in a junkyard. His owner is killed in the battle, and Dogmeat will come up to you afterwards and whimper and bark his way into your heart if you let him.
Since the game is still deep in development, there were still a few bugs on display, but the idea with Dogmeat is that you can converse with him (he'll answer in barks, whimpers, and other appropriate canine noises), and he'll be knowledgeable about the surrounding area. For instance, you can send him to go scavenge for food, weapons, and more, and he'll disappear and return with what you ask him to retrieve provided that it's actually in your general area. We'll see how useful that actually is in the game, as apparently he can disappear for long periods if you're not careful. To us, Dogmeat's value seems to be in combat, where he can harass and distract foes for you, as well as take some down. You'll need to be careful, though, as he can get killed, and it sounds like he's gone if that happens. If you don't want Dogmeat around, you can tell him to go to Vault 101 where he'll stay until you need him, but he's also smart enough to stay behind if you tell him, too. That will be useful in situations where you know he might be a detriment in combat.
Sounds great. Him scavaging old weapons sounds handy cause you can break them down and use them for parts. Also nice to hear you can keep him behind you and out of combat so you can keep him with you and not worry about him.